Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Steven Posch

Steven Posch

Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.

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Good Ritual/Bad Ritual

Good ritual...

...we do together.

Bad ritual...

...is done to you.

Good ritual...

...lets you experience.

Bad ritual...

...tells you what you feel.

Good ritual...

...connects.

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  • Asa West
    Asa West says #
    Truth.
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Um, YEAH.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Night on Witches' Hill

I'm not sure what the police were expecting, but it clearly wasn't us.

Midsummer's Eve. There we were, with our sister coven, up on Witches' Hill.

We'd had our picnic, we'd danced and sung the songs. Everyone else had gone up to the top of the hill to sing the Sun down. Typically, Uncle Steve was still down in the park, running around with the kids. In fact, the youngest was sitting on my shoulders.

The police car came hurtling up over the curb, tearing up turf as it went. It slammed to a stop midway up the hill. Simultaneously, in a choreographed move, both doors fly open. A cop leaps out of each and immediately crouches behind it, taut, as if expecting a barrage of bullets from the hilltop.

“Hey officer,” I say. “Midsummer's Eve, what?”

They give me the eye. Hands on guns, they move cautiously up the hill.

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  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    lol!

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Die Now

“Die now!” chanted the crowd as Diagóras of Rhodes circled the stadium.

They meant it as a compliment.

Olympia, 448 BCE. Two of Diagóras' sons had just received Olympic crowns. "Die now!" chanted the crowd as his sons raised him to their shoulders and bore him aloft.

Meaning: you might as well die now; you're never going to get any happier than this.

 

In my long and rich life, I've been fortunate enough to have several “Die now!” moments.

Here's one.

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  • Haley
    Haley says #
    This is a beautiful thing.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Daughter of Two Fathers

Being daughter of two fathers (gods, being gods, can do that sort of thing), it makes sense that she should be patron of same-sex love.*

Rainbow was a goddess known to the ancestors, but in our day she takes on new meaning and new importance.

As Lady of Many Colors, she protects the times and places when peoples of different kinds, of different colors, come harmoniously together.

She gathers beneath her wings the gender-nonconforming.

And of course, the men for men, the women for women, and those who move creatively between, are her special people, hers to her.

When her namesake flowers bloom, during the month of June, we see her banner prominently displayed.

Interestingly, for meteorological reasons, during this same month we often see her standing, in her own person, there between Earth and Heaven.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    *It intrigues me that when, in mythology, two males have a child together, that child is often a daughter. The meaning here seems
Keeper of the Book of England: Tracking Down a Pioneer of the Horned God Revival

Today, he's almost entirely forgotten.

But he was one of the pioneers of the Horned God revival in the 20th century.

Hans Holzer's 1969 book The Truth About Witchcraft was my second book about modern witchery. (The first was Sybil Leek's Diary of a Witch.) In it, he treats mostly with witchcraft of the Gardnerian and Gardnerian-derived varieties.

But A. Damon was different.

Damon lives with his wife upriver, writes Holzer, “within the frame-work of witch law,” as he put it when he invited me to drop in for a visit, and his “logo” or symbol is an interesting combination of the Horned God's horns and sex organs within a triangle (150).

My 14-year old's ears pricked up immediately.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    From your lips to Old Hornie's furry, pointed ear, Mike. Holzer mentions his pagan film-in-the-making in practically every one of
  • Mike W
    Mike W says #
    Huson, Holzer, Leek. Some of the early influences on me as well. I corresponded with Mike Howard also, he was a real scholar as
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When I saw Fred Addams' Apple Kore on the Jacket of New Pagans, it was love at first sight. Nigh on 50-some years later, I still
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading Holzer and Leek back in the 70's along with Journey to Ixtlan and Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. I don't think
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    Oh yes - I was very influenced by them as well. (Darkover too! And Kurtz's Deryni.) I highlighted "New Pagans" because I started o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ramadan? Bah, Humbug!

Just before last New Moon I ran into my neighbor.

“Hey, Ramadan coming up,” I said. “Are you looking forward?

She frowned.

“Too much work,” she said.

Ramadan, ugh. It's as bad as Christmas.

Like Christmas, Ramadan is an old pagan holiday dressed up in motho clothing. (In this case, a hijâb.) This year it's almost back to where it started in the first place: the moon of the Summer Solstice. A fast every day, a party every night: sounds pagan to me.

Ramadan is a hot item these days. True, there are lots more Muslims in my neighborhood now than there were a few years back. But it's not just demographic. Since 9/11, Ramadan actually makes national news. (Before that, of course, although a quarter of Earth's population—including millions of Americans—were observing the holiest time of their religious calendar, somehow the American media never found this a newsworthy event.) But in these days of unthinking Leftist Islamophilia, non-Muslims fast “in solidarity.” (A friend's husband calls this “religious tourism.”) The yards of the terminally liberal sprout Blessed Ramadan to Our Muslim Neighbors yard-signs.

Well, kumbaya to you, too.

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  • Mab Nahash
    Mab Nahash says #
    So with you on this. I like that Americans are more religiously tolerant than in the past, but the liberal Christians have yet to

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sun Cup, Moon Cup

You stand before the Sun.

He is tall and shining, golden.

In his hands, he holds a golden cup.

He offers, and you take, the burning vessel.

You meet his eyes.

You drink his fiery liquor.

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